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Forceful, Indeed

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The mid-70s, Southern California

Quinn asked the taxi driver to drop him at the driveway to the second house on the property, the one that was supposedly his personal residence. He paid the fee and entered the house, carrying his suitcase through the empty residence and to the back door. At odd moments, he would feel a flash of anger at the way they were forced to live, the pretense of two houses and only being Ben's manager, but life was too good to let bitterness at society frustrate him for long.

Living with and loving Ben was worth the pretense.

Stepping out of the second house, he could see that Ben must have had the gardeners go a bit crazy. Bright, multi-colored Christmas lights outlined the house, trimmed every window, and curled around most of the bushes and trees.

Quinn left his suitcase in the empty kitchen for the housekeeper to take care of his laundry. He would normally have been considerate enough to take his toiletries upstairs, but he was too eager to find Ben. They weren't separated often, but Ben's commitments hadn't allowed him to travel to New York with Quinn.

He found Ben in the study, wearing a paisley shirt and bell bottoms, standing on the armchair as he hung a sprig of mistletoe wrapped in red ribbon from the ceiling. A snifter of brandy sat on the end table and 'Greensleeves' played on the stereo. Quinn waited until Ben had finished his task and lithely dropped to the floor. "Over my chair?"

"Quinn!" Five seconds after saying Quinn's name, Ben had crossed the room and leaped into his arms, and they were kissing with the excitement of reunion and the ease of fifteen years of companionship. "You got home early."

"I understand that I can get forceful when I want business to be wrapped up quickly."

"Forceful's an understatement for you," Ben said, his voice lowering huskily.

Quinn grinned, happily contemplating the ways he intended to be forceful in their bed tonight. "Over my chair?" he asked again, nodding toward the mistletoe. "Why not yours? Or both?"

"You like sitting in your chair and I like sitting in your lap. It seemed only sensible. And you know the Scots are always sensible," Ben said cheekily, letting the accent that Quinn had drummed him out of him slip back in.

"Sensible and sexy," Quinn agreed, stroking his hand down Ben's arm. Clothes, life, the world - everything had changed so much in the last decade and a half. He'd never imagined his lover would go from dressing in neat dark suits to paisley and bell bottoms, but then, Ben looked good in everything, and even better in nothing at all. And maybe things would change so much that one day they could declare their love to the world. "I've always thought this was a sad song for Christmas."

Ben crossed to the stereo, lifting the needle off the LP. "I was missing you. Sad songs felt right."

"I would never cast you off discourteously," Quinn promised, waiting as Ben stepped away from the stereo. "But I would cast you over my shoulder." He matched the deed to the words, grabbing Ben by the waist and swinging him up, Ben giving a happy laugh as he found himself hanging over Quinn's broad shoulder.

"Forceful, indeed," he purred, groping at Quinn's butt.

Quinn gave Ben's delectable rear a firm swat, and started toward the staircase, before realizing the reading light was still on by the armchair. He carried Ben back into the room to turn off the light, Ben giggling the whole time, then up the stairs and to the bedroom. Ben relaxed his body, his muscles limp, allowing Quinn to manhandle him.

As Quinn laid Ben on the bed, he heard him sing softly, his tenor voice heartbreakingly beautiful, "For I am still thy lover true, come once again and love me."

Quinn did.

~ the end ~